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Lorraine/Caleb Guest Post – The Power of Perspective

2010 June 7

With all of the great blogs that are out there, I decided to run a guest post week.  I want my readers who are not your readers to become readers because I know how great your blogs here.  Well, let’s get into blog week.

First up is Lorraine, mother of Caleb.  Her blog is This is Caleb.

The Power of Perspective

When Caleb was diagnosed, I assumed I would handle the challenge of his diabetes as I had handled countless others in my life – independently.

“Strong”, “responsible” and “independent” are words used to describe me for as long as I can remember.  My presumption was therefore that I could, and even should, handle this by myself.

It took several months for me to reach out to others.  I joined a few online forums, mostly geared toward parents of PWD.  These people were a treasure.  Whenever I had a question, they not only had the answers, and had them quickly, they had the perspective I needed and did not find in friends, family or even doctors.  These forums became a lifeline for me.

But my questions became very specific and I had to figure out all the little Caleb nuances on my own.  I found myself on these forums less and less as I was spending my time on charting, tracking, evaluating, and analyzing Caleb’s numbers.

I became so engrossed in figuring things out, I isolated myself from the support system that had been holding me up, and I didn’t even realize it.

Then I came upon the TuDiabetes community.  Although within this community there are parent groups that I value, the variety of diabetics is broad.  I had entered a whole new world of information and experiences from which to learn.  I followed discussions and read experiences of the adults that live and have grown up with diabetes and found these views very informative and valuable.  It provided a new comfort.  I was getting a glimpse into Caleb’s future that until then, was very uncertain to me.

It was a new perspective.

This led me to join Twitter to follow Team Type 1.  Almost instantly someone I didn’t know was following me.  How does this Twitter thing work and who is this Scott Johnson guy and why is he following me?  It was days before I took the leap to follow him back, but soon the floodgates opened and I was following and being followed by lots of people in the DOC.  I was reconnecting with parents and getting that much needed support back, but I was making new relationships too.

To that point, I viewed parents of PWD as distinct and separate from PWD themselves.  My mindset was born out of respect for people who live with this responsibility every day.  As much as I understand and as much as I bear the responsibility for Caleb’s diabetes management, I am not the person living it.  As such, I never expected someone with diabetes to have any interest in anything I had to say about it, because really, what do I know?

I was wrong.

Although I did not literally have arms around me, I was most definitely embraced.  I was talking with people about diabetes and lots of other things.  I was being included in discussions and it was uplifting.  Scott is actually not a stalker.  He is a diet Coke-drinking, iPhone-using, basketball-loving, mega-blog-commenting super great guy, dad and husband.

The connections I have with PWD give me a view into Caleb’s mind, or at least the closest thing to it.  I sometimes see the wheels turning inside his head, but I don’t know what he’s thinking or feeling. Talking with the people who live this, and have grown up with it, helps me understand and empathize and thus make decisions not only in Caleb’s daily care, but in the big plan: the plan for him to gradually assume the responsibility for his own diabetes.

Just a few weeks ago, Chris himself shared some perspective – perspective regarding a mom’s worry about her adult son.  Thank you for that, Chris.  That little nugget is one of several that you and others have given me that will stay with me for years; probably forever.  I will never be able to repay you for that.

There was a time when I thought I should handle Caleb’s diabetes by myself.  I suppose I could, but I am glad I don’t have to.  Thank you, all my adult PWD friends.  You have given me, and therefore Caleb, so much.  You have welcomed me into your world, and I respect that I am just a visitor to a certain degree.  It gives me great comfort to know that when Caleb is ready, you will be there for him, and I am confident that he will be there for you.

I wonder if you know the power your perspectives have on me and other parents of KWD, and how sincerely we appreciate them.

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18 Responses leave one →
  1. June 7, 2010

    yes…sincerely! awesome job Lo, as usual!! :)

  2. Mindy Schmidt permalink
    June 7, 2010

    Great guest post Lorraine! As the wife of a T1, I can relate to how you feel with Diabetes being such a defining thing in your life, but not actually having it yourself. The DOC has changed our lives as well and provided valuable advice and friendship, and also provides these T1 adults a forum to show all the JD parents out there what a complete and fulfilling life awaits your children despite and many times because of this disease.

    I will now add The Life of a Diabetic to my reader!

  3. June 7, 2010

    Awesome post Lorraine, and thank you so much for the kind words.

    I love the diabetes online community (you & Caleb & David are in there too!). They/You have all changed my life in such beneficial ways.

    I don’t know where I’d be without the DOC!

  4. June 7, 2010

    U are the one to bring better explanation of the diabetes.A SELF DENIAL would have one effect,the manner to go with others of fighting spirit within communities.All my appreciation is given.Vividly an impressive demonstration it’s part of life

  5. June 7, 2010

    Awww. That was a really nice post. It’s funny, because the parents of kids with diabetes gave me a new perpective that I’d never thought about: how my parents must of have felt when I was diagnosed and growing up with diabetes. This understanding has been quite helpful as well :)

    Thanks,
    V.

  6. June 8, 2010

    This is a great post. Thank you so much, Lorraine, for sharing this perspective and thanks Chris for reaching out to allow her that chance. You remind me every day that while I may be the one living with this, and know it in and out, I don’t know what it feels like to be the parent of a Child With Diabetes and go through all of that – on top of the regular parental challenges. We’re all in this together, and it’s so great to have this online community to connect and be a part of it for each other. Thank you.

  7. June 8, 2010

    Lo, this is an outstanding post. As a childhood T1, I sometimes forget how hard it is for those around us who care. All caregivers (T3′) struggle with that thin line of making sure all is well and “nagging”. And lord knows that line can move from day to day, from high-to-low. You have the foresight to see what “could be” when we were young, invincible and just may not be comfortable or even able to understand those things. Caleb is a lucky young man to have his family so supportive of him and such a strong advocate in his corner.

    Love ya!
    /wink

  8. andreina d. permalink
    June 8, 2010

    Great post Lorraine. You are such wonderful mon!!! Thank you for all that you do for our community!

  9. June 8, 2010

    This was a great post Lorraine! Caleb is so lucky to have you as a mom, you do SO MUCH for him and he is going to grow up being a fantastic person!

  10. June 8, 2010

    I enjoyed your post. Always do.

    I’m glad you’re reaching out to others. I know you have blessed me already! : )

  11. June 8, 2010

    Super pod lady does it again! Just as it is important for caregivers to be able to empathize with diabetics, so too do we need to reminded of what it feels like to care for us. It’s much easier to test our own blood sugar and treat our own hypos than it is to try to imagine what that feels like for someone else. There is an element of being a dedicated type 3 (like you Lorraine) that is being an outsider looking in, and that can be every bit as emotionally challenging as being diabetic. Your efforts are justifiably admired here in the DOC. Thanks for doing so much.

  12. June 11, 2010

    GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I remember “meeting” Lorraine so long ago on one of those “parent forums”….it’s funny what a small world this small world really is :)

  13. June 11, 2010

    I’m a diabetic with type 2, blogging about diabetes also. I’m exercising everyday to do the best of the situation.

  14. YankeeBelle permalink
    May 22, 2011

    Lo is a gift to the diabetes world! She has been a godsend to me and my family. Just in the week I’ve been priviledged to ‘know’ her, Ive learned and met so many folks dealing with diabetes too – including the DOC. Without her, Id still be fumbling around in a sugar filled world. Thank you Lo! You ROCK!
    ~signed, Your #1 Fan. =)

  15. July 11, 2011

    Wonderful post, Lorraine! Very touching and honest. My diabetes literally got easier when I started reading posts by all of you parents of children with diabetes-my perspective on things changed. Thank you for that.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Power of Perspective | Guest Blog on The Life of a Diabetic « This is Caleb…
  2. Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes May Feel…
  3. Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes May Feel | Diabetes Advocates

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